Wireless Security: How to Change the Default SSID

Note: This post is part of our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network“. The series contains a 10 step guide to securing your home wireless network.

Access points and routers all use a network name called the SSID. Manufacturers normally ship their products with the same SSID set for all routers. For example, the SSID for Netgear devices is normally “NETGEAR”. The Default SSID can be changed from the administrative panel and should be set to something unique.

Although most routers have different methods to change the SSID details, the general steps are as follows. Incase of difficulty, consult your Wireless Router manual or customer support.

1. Find your LAN IP Address
You can identify the LAN IP Address of your machine by going to Start -> Run and execute the command “cmd”. Inside this command prompt you can execute the command “ipconfig /all”

ipconfig /all

2. Access Your Router
Once you have the IP Address for your router, we can use this to access the router and change settings. We need to open the router’s settings page via the browser by visiting (Use the IP you found in step 1 ). This will prompt you for a username and password which is usually “admin/admin”, “admin/password” (or the Password set by you in: Wireless Security: How to Change Default Administrator Usernames and Passwords). Sometimes these fields are left blank, but the best way to know is the user manual.

Router Login

3. Set an SSID Of Your Choice
Once you have logged into the router control panel, you need to look for a section such as “Wireless” or “Security” etc. Depending on the make of your router, you will find the settings for wireless network name under one of these sections.

Here you will enter a Network Name or SSID for your router. This should be something unique and identifiable by you, without giving away too many details about your physical location or personal self.

Changing the SSID Settings

4. You’re Done!
Thats it, you’re router now has a unique SSID setup to discourage any SSID based attacks and confusion.

Now you need to reconnect all of your wireless devices to the new SSID name and when prompted for a password, enter the password set by you in Wireless Security: How to Enable WEP/WPA Encryption.

Now we recommend that you go back to our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network” and implement all the remaining recommendations into your router.